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    Asia House Annual Outlook 2024 launched with government and business leaders contributing key insights

    Published On: 25 January 2024

    Ambassadors, senior government officials and business leaders gathered at Asia House on 23 January for discussions around the launch of the flagship Asia House Annual Outlook 2024: Asia – The World’s Growth Engine in a Turbulent Year.

    More than 20 countries across Asia, Europe, North America and the Middle East were represented at the launch. In attendance were 13 Heads of Mission, including HE Zheng Zeguang, China’s Ambassador to the UK, who gave keynote remarks, alongside the Rt Hon Anne Marie Trevelyan MP, UK Minister of State for the Indo-Pacific region. Also in attendance was Asia House Chairman Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint who gave introductory remarks. The event was attended by an audience of approximately 300, both in person at the think tank’s London headquarters, and online from countries worldwide. 

    With in-depth analysis on eight key Asian economies and an overview of the region as a whole, the outlook highlights how Asia’s economies will be the global growth engine in 2024, buoyed by regional trade and advances in digital technology and green finance. Michael Lawrence OBE, Asia House Chief Executive, who chaired the event, indicated in his welcoming remarks that the report also examines how Asia’s economies will power ahead in 2024, delivering growth of circa 5 per cent overall despite external global pressures including geopolitical tensions, conflict and a challenging inflation and interest rate environment. 

    Accelerated digital transformation, a rise in regional trade, and the expansion of the availability of green finance will underpin that growth. Although Asia could possibly face disruptions caused by the number of elections in this “super-election” year, the centre of the world’s economic gravity is continuing to shift towards Asia. The acceleration of this shift throughout 2024 was the key theme of the launch. 

    2024 –  “Another Unpredictable Year

    In the keynote speeches, Ambassador Zheng indicated that despite weak external demand, China’s economy will continue to recover – underpinned by investment in digitalisation and green finance. He noted that in 2023, China’s GDP grew by 5.2 per cent year-on-year, and that “the long-term trajectory of China’s development remains positive”.

    HE Zheng Zeguang, China’s Ambassador to the UK

    Minister Trevelyan shared her thoughts on the potential turbulence ahead for the coming year but also stated that two things will remain consistent, “One of those is Asian growth, and the other one is the UK’s commitment to be at the heart of that”.

    The Rt Hon Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP, UK Minister of State for the Indo-Pacific region

    Key Drivers of the Asian Economy

    In a presentation of the Annual Outlook’s key findings, Dr Zhouchen Mao, Head of Research and Advisory at Asia House, highlighted technological innovation and green finance as two key drivers for the Asian economy. 

    The economic and geopolitical outlook for Asia was discussed between Ziad Haider, Global Director of Geopolitical Risk at McKinsey & Company, and Jinny Yan, Chief China Economist at ICBC Standard Bank. There isn’t a prescribed strategy to managing risk, according to Haider, who spoke via video link from Singapore. It is important to have “a set of resilient measures that balance risk and opportunity”. Pivoting to China’s economic outlook, Yan said that the country continues to be an anchor for regional and global growth and must maintain its economic resilience by unleashing greater consumption.  

    Farisa Zarin, Global Head of Group Public and Regulatory Affairs at Standard Chartered Bank and Pamela Mar, Managing Director, Digital Standards Initiative at the International Chamber of Commerce looked at Asia’s digital economy in the second discussion. According to Zarin, technology would “turbocharge the growth potential in China”. Both agreed that 2024 would be critical for ASEAN to begin implementing a globalised and harmonised digital trading environment to bolster economic growth. 

    The Centre of the World’s Economic Gravity Has Shifted

    Dominic Barton BBM, Chair of Rio Tinto concluded the launch of the Outlook. In conversation with Michael Lawrence, he shared his view that global economic gravity had already shifted to Asia, underpinned by digital innovation and investment in renewable energy. 

    He also remarked on the shift in quality of China’s growth. “China’s consumption as a per cent of GDP is about 38, [while] in the United States, it’s 68 per cent”. Barton was optimistic that as this spending power increases in China, it will present an “immense opportunity”. 

    Dominic Barton BBM (left), Chair of Rio Tinto and Michael Lawrence OBE, Asia House Chief Executive

    To read the full report click here

    Watch the full event online here.

    Asia House helps organisations position themselves on key issues by curating high-level discussions with senior speakers and audiences.  

    For more information about our thought leadership and positioning services, please contact Katie Reid, Stakeholder Engagement Associate at: katie.reid@asiahouse.co.uk.

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